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Morning Brew’s TikTok strategy
Plus, how Meta’s news ban affected Facebook usage in Canada
Good morning! And welcome to Business Side.
I was curious to see which news publishers are excelling on TikTok right now, so I compared follower counts, and Morning Brew is a clear overperformer – with more followers (793k) than the main accounts of the NYT (425k), Forbes (370k), Vox (334k), The Economist (279k), WSJ (248k), and more.
What is Morning Brew doing right?
Many of their most popular videos don’t explain the news directly; rather, they use the news as inspiration for comical skits. Many of the skits feature Morning Brew staffers Dan Toomey, Evan Frolov, and Macy Gilliam, who clearly have a knack for comedy. Here are some examples:
Your boss just sold the company to Saudi Arabia: Toomey pretends to be the “boss” celebrating intensely behind a glass-walled meeting room.
He gets paid 175k to do nothing: Frolov plays a consultant getting paid to not work, and the video integrates a news story about how consulting firms are paying new hires to delay their start dates.
Dating tech guys: Gilliam pretends to have dates on the campuses of large tech companies.
The Brooklyn Mile: In a video sponsored by Hoka, Toomey does “man-on-the-street” interviews with runners, asking them “what they’re running from.” (“How much time do you have?”, one runner responds.)
TikTok is often a place for laughs. Publishers, like people, can have multiple sides to their personalities – a smart serious person at the office can be a smart silly person around the family dinner table.
Morning Brew does a nice job of retaining its DNA on TikTok, while also giving space to a creative, lighter side.
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And here’s the latest news in digital media:
Publishers & tech:
Meta’s ban on news in Canada had almost no effect on Facebook usage.
More publishers are blocking OpenAI’s web crawler.
Fox Sports will use Google’s AI to produce content “in near real-time.”
Gannett paused using AI in sports coverage after an awkwardly-written story went viral.
WaPo laid off personnel working on its Arc technology platform.
The Daily Wire will publish a docuseries on X.
TechCrunch acquired StrictlyVC and appointed its founder Connie Loizos as editor-in-chief; Loizos plans for TechCrunch to focus more on original reporting.
Jeff Zucker’s firm is considering an investment in newsletter startup Front Office Sports.
Supermodel Karlie Kloss may buy i-D magazine from Vice Media.
Former NYT CEO Mark Thompson will be the new CEO of CNN.
The Independent appointed Christian Broughton CEO as it plans expansion in the U.S.
Conde Nast appointed Jamila Robinson as EIC of Bon Appetit and Epicurious.
More on publishers:
CROs told Digiday that the auto, travel, and luxury ad categories are looking strong.
The BBC’s Newscast podcast will now run seven days a week.
SB Nation will launch two paid newsletters centered around two NFL teams, the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs.
A deep dive on Foundry’s AI chatbot, trained on content from its sites such as Macworld, PCWorld, Tech Advisor, and TechHive. Editorial staff conducted rounds of testing, and the chatbot monetizes via affiliate links.
A reflection on The Texas Tribune’s recent layoffs.
A review of how Yahoo has returned to a position of strength.
A feature on social media-centric Pink News.
A profile of Kick, a Twitch competitor with gambling roots that pays a high percentage of revenue to creators.
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